JONESBORO, Ark. (1/19/16) – The Arkansas State women’s basketball team held a 50-34 lead at the end of the third quarter and held off South Alabama to win 56-53 Thursday night at the Convocation Center.
With the win, A-State improves to 2-4 in league play and 4-14 on the season. South Alabama drops to 7-10 overall and 2-4 in Sun Belt action.
Tahlon Hopkins had a career high 20 points and 14 rebounds for her third career double-double. Hopkins knocked down two free throws with 10 seconds left to seal the victory. Dominique Oliver had 13 points and tied her career best with seven assists while Brittany Fowler also reached double figures 10 points. Genesis Perrymond led South Alabama with 16 points.
How It Happened (First Half):
A-State scored the first seven points of the game and opened up a 9-2 lead just 4:50 into the action. The Jaguars scored the next six points, but the Red Wolves hit 10-straight shots to break open the game with a 20-point advantage.
Fowler, Oliver and Hopkins combined for 29 points on 12-of-18 (66.7 percent) shooting in the first half to spark the Red Wolves to the 40-22 halftime lead. As a team, A-State was 58.6 percent (17-29) from the field and 5-of-9 (55.6 percent) from 3-point range.
The Red Wolves limited the Jaguars to 28.6 percent (8-28) from the field and out-rebounded the visitors 21-12.
How It Happened (Second Half):
A-State scored just 10 points in the third quarter, but the defensive effort helped the Red Wolves sustain a 15-point lead throughout the period. The Red Wolves struggled from the field, going 4-for-16 (25 percent), but the Jaguars didn’t fare much better hitting 5-of-17 (29.4 percent).
South Alabama held A-State to just 1-for-11 (9.1 percent) from the field and forced nine turnovers to cut the 16-point deficit down to one with 12 seconds left. The Red Wolves made 4-of-6 (66.7 percent) free throws in the fourth quarter to hold on for the victory despite being outscored 19-6.
Lauren Bradshaw had two blocks moving her into sole possession of third place for career blocks with 96.
Tahlon Hopkins had a career best 20 points besting her previous best of 18 against Louisiana back on Dec. 31. She pulled down 14 rebounds, improving upon her previous best of 11 against Tulsa on Dec. 6.
Madison Heckert finished with a career high seven points.
Dominique Oliver tied a career-high with seven assists, matching her previous high of seven at Coastal Carolina earlier this season.
A-State is now 197-58 when holding opponents to 65 or fewer points in the Brian Boyer era.
Quoting Coach Boyer:
“The first half was certainly really good and for us to put up that many points and hold them to 22 was just really good. In the second half you could almost see this coming in the third quarter and were just really careless with the ball and took some really poor shots and started giving up too many offensive rebounds. Fortunately we were able to get out of the quarter with a big enough margin that it never changed in the fourth quarter.”
Arkansas State hosts Troy Saturday at 3 p.m. in a game that airs live on ESPN3 and the Watch ESPN platform.